JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli military in 2010 to prepare for an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, according to an Israeli television station.
Netanyahu gave the order during a meeting with what is known as the cabinet of seven, or the security cabinet, Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan reported. Israel’s Channel 2 noted the command during a promotion Sunday night for the season premiere of Dayan’s one-hour weekly documentary program, “Fact.”
The program, which airs Monday night, will look at Israel’s decision-making process regarding an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.
Gabi Ashkenazi and Meir Dagan, the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff and Mossad head, respectively, at the time, told Dayan that the order to go to a level "P Plus" — code for preparing for a military strike — was an attempt to circumvent acquiring the approval of the full Cabinet.
Dagan reportedly said that "the prime minister and defense minister were trying to ‘hijack a war.’ "
Ashkenazi reportedly responded that the Israeli military lacked the operational capability to carry out such a strike.
Since their retirements, Dagan and Ashkenazi both have publicly stated their opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran.